John McCain, whose campaign appears to be resurging, announced this morning
that he will put up three new ads in New Hampshire starting this weekend.
A 30-second TV spot, titled "Live Free," praises McCain's judgment and
trust and promises that he will restore trust in the federal government.
"New Hampshire, you know who he is," the narrator says, reminding viewers
that McCain won the first-in-the-nation primary in 2000.
A 60-second TV ad, titled "One Man," shows an extended clip of McCain being
interviewed in a hospital bed as a prisoner-of-war after his Navy plane was
shot down over North Vietnam. The narrator says "one man" sacrificed for
his nation, a not-so-veiled reference to the fact that none of his main
rivals served in the military.
And in a 60-second radio spot, titled "Courage," also includes the POW
interview and says McCain will be a leader, not a follower.
The ads follow up on a speech this morning to the conservative Hudson
Institute in New York, where he suggested that rivals Rudy Giuliani, the
former New York mayor, and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor,
lack the foreign policy experience to be commander-in-chief.
The Arizona senator argued that the next president needs "tested
experience, political courage and strategic clarity to make sound and
difficult decisions," according to the Associated Press. "Tough talk or
managerial successes in the private sector aren't adequate assurance that
their authors have the experience or qualities necessary for such a
singular responsibility," he said.
In a conference call with reporters, campaign manager Rick Davis said while
McCain does not try to elevate military service over other ways to serve
the country, McCain's military service is "an obvious contrast" and the
knowledge and experience he gained would be invaluable to a president in
"the time of crisis and time of war we exist in now."
"I do think people's credentials are going to be debated in this election,
and this is a very important one in this time of war," Davis said.
McCain, whose campaign went through staff and financial wobbles earlier
this year, is trying to capitalize on a burst of momentum, tied in large
measure to his support for the so-called surge of US troops in Iraq. This
month, he took his "No Surrender" bus tour to Iowa and New Hampshire.
In the latest New Hampshire poll, McCain rose to 17 percent support among
likely GOP primary voters, up from 12 percent in July. That puts him within
striking distance of the leaders, Romney with 23 percent and Giuliani with
22 percent, according to the CNN/WMUR survey released Wednesday.
"We think this is significant because of the campaign John McCain has waged
there recently," Davis said of the poll.
Campaign officials said that the ads will air statewide for at least the
next two weeks and are designed to remind voters of heroic McCain's life
story and to lock in the progress McCain seems to be making.
McCain also plans to be in New Hampshire this weekend for several events.
-- Written by Foon Rhee